Staff Photo: John Bohn —
Jose Puente, of Johns Creek, holds his daughter Camila, 2, while viewing a toy at Lawrenceville Rings, a New Year's Eve celebration held on the Historic Courthouse lawn on Monday evening.
Locals took to the streets Monday to celebrate a new year with carnival-like festivities, football, bands and even snow.
Duluth hosted a New Year’s Eve Crawl on the town green. The American Flyers performed live at the amphitheater, the Chick-fil-A Bowl between LSU and Clemson was shown and kids bounced up and down on inflatables.
There was also a snow slide, which kids rode down a small slope. But what many more partook in was using extra snow to start snowball fights with each other.
“It’s great,” Tara Bennett said. “The kids are going to ride the rides, and we’re probably going to watch the magic show.”
Steve and Mary Riley came out to the event with their two dogs, Janet and Susan. They live nearby, noticed the commotion and decided to come with the pooches — who were sporting violet-colored lighted collars — to enjoy the event for a couple of hours.
“It’s really nice to see everyone having a good time,” Mary Riley said.
Lawrenceville offered much of the same entertainment with its 10th annual Lawrenceville Rings festivities. The Swingin’ Medallions performed, kids bounced on inflatables and dueled each other with lighted plastic swords and light sabers, patrons rode a three-car train through downtown streets and food vendors helped people get in last-minute goodies before the resolutions kicked in. One vendor sold fried pickles and alligator tails, and others sold funnel cakes and hot chocolate.
Michael and Amanda Evans visited with their young children, Bill and Lily, enjoying their time with funnel cakes, hot chocolate, the inflatable bouncing areas and, to Bill’s excitement, the train. They planned to leave early, but the kids looked ready to go for days.
“I don’t know (if we’ll be able to leave). After they ate the funnel cakes, they may stay up all night,” he said with a grin.
With 2012 in the rear-view mirror, Michael Evans, like many others, hoped the year to come would be an improvement.
“It’s got to be better than 2012, work-wise,” he said.
Other local areas hosting celebrations included the Buford Community Center, Chateau Elan, Medieval Times, Moondance Restaurant and Lounge, and Wild Bill’s.